DENVER - Appointing a liaison between the University of Colorado athletic department and the president's office may not be a sign that school president Betsy Hoffman has lost confidence in athletic director Dick Tharp, experts say.
In fact, the move may help prevent serious NCAA sanctions over what may be determined as a lack of institutional control.
NCAA spokeswoman Kay Hawes would not comment specifically on the allegations that have been leveled at the football team, but she indicated the rare move of assigning a liaison, who is expected to be hired this week, is smart.
"Remember, the person who is supposed to be in control is the president," Hawes said yesterday. "The individual responsible for control is the CEO of the institution. If there is a reaction by the institution to allegations and violations that is swift and strong, that's one factor the NCAA Committee on Infractions considers."
No clear NCAA violations have surfaced from allegations of sexual misconduct at the school, including the charges of six women of sexual assault by football players or recruits.
Colorado already is serving a two-year probation for recruiting violations during previous coach Rick Neuheisel's tenure. Among other penalties, Colorado lost five scholarships this year for "the pervasive and systematic nature of the recruiting violations," according to the NCAA.
Another violation could bring severe sanctions.